City and Town Government can be a very complex business. I write ‘business’ because in a way the town is like a business, except we don’t sell goods or services, we simply provide them utilizing a variety of funding sources. For the General Fund operations, property taxes from residents and businesses provide the revenue stream for town operational essentials like Police and Fire services, local road and street repair, Planning and Building services, the operations of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, code enforcement and town adminstration services like Human Resources and Economic Development.
Other funding streams like TIF Districts (what is that?), Local Income Tax revenues (from the county), wheel taxes, and other fees assist with the costs involved in running the town. It is a variety of budgets that combined allow the town to function to the best of its ability.
We are often asked why the town can do this, or that. Or why can’t the town just pay for the deficit in running the town court? There are many reasons why we can or cannot do something. There isn’t just one big pot of money to tap into. Many town funds are ‘restricted’ meaning that some funding may ONLY be used for certain costs. It gets confusing for us all… and why the Town Council retains a financial advisors who serve as experts in the complex field of municipal finance.
To help us explain and try to demystify this complex topic, as well as other topics about local government, the Town Council will be hosting a variety of workshops designed to tackle some of these topics and help educate and explain the interworkings of town government. A better understanding would allow residents to know what your local leaders are up against when trying to provide great services to our residents of the town.
SAVE THE DATE
The town council is delighted to share that one expert in this field has agreed to share his knowledge with us all at a workshop scheduled for June 14, 2023. Michael Griffin from Highland will present his views on municipal taxes and share his wealth of knowledge serving as Highland’s Clerk-Treasurer for decades. Mike has taught across the state and is currently teaching at Indiana University Northwest. The event will be held at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center inside the Mike Anderson Event Center at 6600 Broadway in Merrillville.
The event will begin sharply at 6:30 p.m. There will be time for questions and answers and a panel will assist Mr. Griffin during this part of the evening. We hope you can attend to learn more about this complex, but interesting subject. -Rick Bella, Town Council President